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of international leaders is talking about peace but presented very different ideas about whether bashar al-assad's stays or goes. meanwhile iran's leaders invited and then uninvited from the swiss conference unable to fuel the fire are publicly doubting the chances for progress. and judging from the delegation appearance in montreux, assad is ready to fight the last syrian. foreign ministers and negotiators from som several nas gather. right from the start, the hard lines decisions between syrian government and leaders of the opposition cast doubt on the success of the meeting. >> the syrian people aspire to defend the borders of the sovereignty. >> reporter: representing the government of bashar al-assad denounced the proceedings and the participants. >> no one in the world has the right to give or take legitimacy to a president or government or constitution or law or anything in syria except for the syrians themselves. this is their right and their constitutional right and what will be agreed to here, and whatever it is should be put to a popular referendum. we are here to decide what the peop
, and the -- the worry on the part of the opposition is if they begin to talk to assad, he is quite powerful on the grown now, and this could lead to the partition of syria. a rebel controlled area in the south, and a regime controlled area in the rest of the country. so what their real beef is to try to hold the american's feet to the fire and make them actually deliver on this promise they made at geneva one that assad would step down, because they don't have the power to do that themselves. so that's -- the trackations that are going on right now in an effort to commit america to the position that assad has to go. obama said that early in this fight. and perhaps regrets it today, but america has been stepping back from that position and stopped supplying arms or aid of any kind to the rebels. so that is in part the game that's being played here on the lead-up to this geneva 2 meeting. >> assad must go has been the position of the united states from the beginning or close to the beginning, but assad has two very potent and powerful regional allies in russia and iran. what is their steak in what happens
of thousands of people have been displaced. one major sticking point being bashar al-assad the president of syria who has indicated time and time again indicated he's going nowhere. nick schifrin, that seems to be the sticking point as these talks continue with bashar al-assad. >> reporter: the trick now is how the international community can put pressure on assad. the notion is there are a lot of violence, government attacks, jet strikes, a lot of barrel bombs. these bombs that roll through communities and destroy and blow out entire homes in communities. the trick now is how do you get that to stop? how do you get the humanitarian crisis to stop, how do you get the assad government to stop the violence. you saw kerry there. he said specifically he understands how alone assad is standing up for himself. that's the cake away. the u.s. needs to find a pressure point on assad, needs to convince assad it can't act with impunity. the government cannot act with impunity, otherwise this violence will keep going. from the u.s. officials point of view they believe there is only two ways to get a
of state, he made the point repeatedly that it was important to change bashar al-assad's to elation in order to achieve a political solution at geneva ii and almost a year later it's fair that the assad regime believes his position is stronger than ever. in his letter to the united nations this eerie and foreign minister minister will be leaving the debt delegation to geneva ii suggest the purpose of going to geneva ii us to fight terrorism and not discuss the political transition in effect he says some points in the invitation the syrian government received from the u.n. are quote in conflict with the legal and political position of the state of syria. sir my question is how can you expect to make progress toward a political transition at geneva ii it the assad governmengovernmen t does not even accept the purpose of the conference which is what it suggests? have you been in contact with a searing government over the past 24 hours to obtain an insurance that accepts the purpose of the meeting and doesn't the syrian foreign foreign minister's writeup mean that more pressure needs to
with one aim, toppling bashar al-assad but his regime says any talk of removing the president from office is a redline him on the cross. that lowered expectations going into the conference but many top leaders are saying just ringing the two sides together does show some progress is being made. today, u.s.emarks secretary of state john kerry underlines the fact it was no way syrian president bashar al-assad could be part of any transition government. saying his excessive use of violence against his people made him illegitimate. in his speech, the syrian foreign minister pointedly said no one but the syrians would decide if their president was legitimate or not. >> no one in the world has the right to give legitimacy or withdraw legitimacy from a , a government, constitution, a law or anything in syria but syrians. this is the constitutional right of the syrian people. what will be agreed upon here, no matter what it is, will be subject to a referendum. we have a mandate to present the will of the people, not to determine their fate. >> we want to know if there are syrian partners in this
. >> you there is no one who had a done more to syri make syria a magnate to terrorists than bashar al-assad. >>> west virginia giving freedom industries two hours to disclose all information about the chemical spill into the elk river. >>> and we take a look at homeschooling and how little to know regulations are causing concerns. >> world leaders are gathering in montreux, switzerland, they're trying to bring a deal to syria. a short time ago secretary of state john kerry was saying that bashar al-assad cannot remain the leader of syria. >> you cannot have peace. you cannot have stability. you cannot restore syria. you cannot save syria. from disintegration as long as bashar al-assad remains in power. >> those who are behind the acts of terrorists, terrorism in syria should choose between an arsonist or fireman. they cannot be both at the same time. >> and nick schifrin is in montreux, switzerland, tonight. tough talk from both sides of the controversy. >> reporter: yes, absolutely a chasm between both sides. but the goal from the u.s. point of view is the same, and that is to try to end t
that for years and nothing has changed. the syrian government led by assad clearly thinks that it can continue to attack in any way it wants to, other than those chemical weapons it has now given up. the hope from the u.s. is hey look, we're finally getting the two sides on the same table, maybe, just maybe these talks can begin to lead to small localized peace deals or humanitarian corridors into syria. >> you're just back from a refugee camp in turkey. that's the other big part of the story, 2.5 million syrians have fled the country, 6 million displaced inside syria. lebanon, jordan, receiving these refugees are completely overwhelmed and you are seeing really just heartbreaking stories when you go to these camps. >> it's absolutely heart breakerring. just to give you a sense of how bad the war is in syria, before we get to the camps, one of out of every three homes in syria have either been damaged or destroyed. one out of every three homes in the entire country. that has led so many millions of those people out of their homes. in jordan, the fourth largest city in the country is now a syri
. >> there may now be proof of war crimes in syria. >> pictures of horrific scenes. >> bashar al-assad has ever intention of staying in office. >> delegates are arriving in switzerland for peace talks. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. >> i have got a pen and a phone. >> every president finds this moment. >> milton will get to shoot an aging non-breeding male rhino. >> absolutely heart breaking. >>> income inequality is a big theme of our time. putting america on notice. ♪ >>> we begin with harrowing photographs that allegedly show the systemic killing of about 11,000 syrian detain'ees. a warning this is very graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing. three prosecutors say the evidence supports findings of war crimes against bashar al-assad and his regime, the report comes just as leaders gather for internationally sponsored peace talks. but in an interview with the press, the syrian president says he will likely seek a new term, and ruled out any power sharing deal with the opposition. >> translator: if in that time there is public desire and a public o
and beaten to death that had the assad regime has a killing machine and that this evidence is a smoking gun against assad. what is the next step? >> again, at the end of the day, it's a political decision as to decide what to do with these tyrants and thugs. we have the ability, procedure and the experience to prosecute heads of stayed and their regime and what-have-you. it's a political decision and a diplomatic decision as to how and when or if that happens. >> i guess one of the things that you will face if you -- if it does go to that point and there is a prosecution for war crimes is somehow connecting it to assad and determining whether he was involved and directed this. do you think there will be a war crimes trial? >> i would like to think that there were. there are four options available to the international community, and we have developed a statute, creative statute which would assist them. the first would be a prosecution under syrian domestic law. syrians trying syrians for syrian crimes. the second option would be an enter allegationalized court where they would assist them to
al-assad's future. >>> protesters are killed in new anti-government unrest, and no signs of a solution yet. and a new plan unveiled to help protection pensions in detroit and save the city's art from bankruptcy. >> and we begin this hour with breaking news. israel says it has foiled attacks. lisa stark is following developments for us in washington, d.c. lisa, good to see you. what do you know? >> reporter: tony, the israelis said they arrested three men. two are from east palestine, one from the gaza strip. their plan was to attack the u.s. embassy in tel aviv and an international conference center in jerusalem. the men were recruited through the internet by a group in the gaza strip with connections to al-qaeda. we're told that the recruiter actually told these men that he was working behalf of al wahiri. that is the first time that al-qaeda is directly linked to an attack inside israel. the attack was to be carried out by five unidentified men who would fly into israel with russian passports. the israelis are saying although the attack on the convention center, the pot
that does not involve assad. the challenges ahead are massive. james bays, al jazeera. >> list take a look at the power players and these talks. jonathan betz with more on these talks. >> reporter: let's break it down for you. first, who is actually going to these talks? well, 40 countries total, united states, saudi arabia, a lot of power players. in syria's corner is russia and briefly iran. but the u.n. quickly disinvited it after it failed to back the plan. had a is the point of all this? president bashar al-assad, how to get rid of him and who should replace him. forming a new government, the problem is assad has been very clear. he doesn't want to go. so what does the united states want? the war to end and assad out. but it does not how to do that and who should take over. scholars fear losing assad may further destabilize the area. why does russia care about this? russia and syria are old friends, and russia has been losing allies, and syria buys a lot of russia weapons. will the talks work? probably not. there are up to a thousand groups fighting for control of syria. many fighting
stories. a bitter clash over bashar al-assad's future that could threaten syrian peace talks. violence in ukraine becomes deadly. protesters killed in anti-government unrest. an attack by al by al-qaeda on . embassy in tel aviv foiled by israel. and chemical leaks in west virginia, some folks still refusing to drink the tap water because of it. >> a peace conference in switzerland did not get off to a promising start today. meeting face to face for the first time since the conflict began, and both sides are very far apart when it comes to bashar al-assad's future. the u.n. mediator said he will meet with each side tomorrow to see if they can sit down for talks on try. nick schifrin from montreux, switzerland. nick, the difference came in sharp focus today on day one. there is a real since a chasm between these two sides. the goal is to create a transitional government to replace bashar al-assad, but assad is talking about running in the next presidential election. given that the two sides are so far apart its hard to make even the smallest steps towards peace. >> all syrian people at t
to the same team -- to the same table. immediately the issue of president assad's future became a topic. >> war criminal to some, a savior to others. president assad is the main issue of this conference. these were not direct talks between regime and opposition, but threes they were in the same room. 30 nations joined them. iran wasn't invited. syria's foreign minister had few alleys as he attacked the enemies. >> these titleists claim they are moderates, but they know -- these titleists -- tearists -- >> you say you live in new york. i live in syria. i have the right to give the syrian version here in this forum. >> yes, of course. this is my right. >> we have to have some constructive and harmonious dialogue. >> i have sat for 25 minutes. i need to speak. >> mr. ban is usually cite mild mannered, but these are interactible issues. the opposition insists mr. assad cannot be part of a transitional government. >> all the victims in syria just to allow one man to remain on his throne. no throne has the value of one single innocent life. >> the united states agreed. mr. assad had too much
on the nature of this tragic conflict. today people can more clearly understand how alone assad is in standing up for himself. not for syria. and the resolution to this crisis cannot be about one man's insistence or one family's insistence about clinging power. this needs to be about empowering all of the syrian people. the international community expressed a united vision for syria that respects its citizens and protects the rights of every group, every sect, every faith, mr mrurallism where all people are represented. a nation in which all syrians can peacefully consult their government without fear of retribution, fear of imprisonment, fear of death. a syria that works closely with its neighbors, but also can exist peacefully as a sovereign, independent, and democratic state. these are the syrian people's hopes for the future of their coup try and, and we support them. now, let me emphasize, as i said earlier in my comments today, what happened in syria began in the wake of the transformation that began to break out, throughout the middle east, and everybody knows the events that began in l
al-assad, secretary of state john kerry didn't back away from washington's longheld position that the aim of this conference was to carry out the so-called geneva 1 communique of 2012. >> bashar assad will not be part of that transition government. there is no way... no way possible in the imagination, that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern. one man and those who have supported him can no longer hold an entire nation and a region hostage. >> reporter: and the head of the opposition syrian national council insisted all parties must accept that stance, or there's no point in talking. >> ( translated ): any talk of assad staying in power in any form will be a derailment of geneva 1 path, so we insist that we are not in any position to discuss anything in the negotiations before these issues are decided upon within a specific time frame. >> reporter: the saudi arabian foreign minister, whose government funnels money and arms to the rebels, was equally firm. >> ( translated ): it is common sense that bashar al-assad wil
the opposition will not have assad or anyone close to him. the government says, "no, we have to have president assad as the head of state. they'll start with the easier stuff. it's difficult, trying to get local ceasefires, prisoner exchanges, confidence-building measures. they'll start at that level and come up with a bigger solution, coming up with a transitional government. that is the aim of all this. a new government for syria. a transitional body. >> thank you very much for that. >> that's james bays live in montro. let's go to our correspondent in lebanon's becker valley. >> while the diplomatic talks with some of the world leaders get under way, what is the situation where you are. with the syrian refugees. >> the situation is difficult. we are in an unofficial camp, one of the larger ones, where the people live. conditions are difficult. it's winter, cold. people can't stay warm, and one of the very furious issues is water. there's not enough clean water. this is the tank that is filled by aid agencies with clean water. it's about 1,000 litres and is supposed to last of the refugees f
. but it is irritating to the skin. >>> leaders from the assad regime and syrian's opposition groups are meeting face-to-face today. but in syria the fighting goes on. millions of refugees living outside of their cities in camps. many say they don't believe the peace conference will end the violence. nick schifrin is at the conference in switzerland. >> everybody has been talking about one thing here, trying to create a transitional government that all sides can agree on that will remove assad from power. but assad is not only dismissing the idea of stepping down, he is actually talking about running again for president. so what diplomats are talking about is small baby steps towards peace. perhaps prisoner exchanges, perhaps creating humanitarian corridors to try to get food, water, and the necessary supplies to millions of syrians who are without all of those basic necessities, and also localized peace treaties, trying to get some kind of truce in a small area and expand that into a city or region. but so far, del, what we have heard is not any of those specifics, willingness to go towards those st
. >> bashar al-assad will not be part of that transition government. >> world leaders gathering to discuss ending syria's bloody civil war, and there are already disagreements on how to make peace. >>> chaos and death in the streets of kiev. crowds protesting the ukrainian government clashing once again with riot police. >>> and thousands effected by the cold weather from the midwest to the northeast. ♪ >>> tense moments this morning in montrow switzerland. they are in switzerland trying to hammer out a peace deal, but even the peace talks are anything by that. nick schifrin is in switzerland, the setting behind you almost portrays the gravity of the situation and the fireworks that happened earlier. tell us about them. >> yes, just a few feet from me, i saw a pro syrian government journalist, actually yelling at the opposition. we have seen competing rallies for and against president bashar al-assad, and inside the halls the diplomats themselves are just divided. on one side you have the united states supporting the syrian opposition, and they say that president bashar al-assad has to g
. >> for the first time syria's warming sides are meeting face to face. representatives from bashar al-assad regime. along with 40 foreign ministers and u.s. secretary of state john kerry. the plan to bring a diplomatic solution to three years of sill war in syria that left 100,000 dead and displaced. the summit is discussing the geneva ii document. it lays out a plan for the government including members of the regime and the opposition. the key issue is the president bashar al-assad. whether he stays or go. u.n. scenario ban ki-moon told delegates they face a formidable challenge. nick schifrin is at the talks taking place in switzerland. good morning. the conference began a short while ago. it's clear there are tensions. >> absolutely. when the secretary-general opened the conference he said there was a fragile but real hope for peace and pleaded with both sides, the 40 delegations not to make comments that were personal, to be diplomatic and stick to time. the syrian delegations were given 10 minutes and the syrian foreign minister gave a speech that many described as inflammatory, calling the o
would have full executive powers. the problem is that on the assad side they say that go must be lead by president assad, and have his key lieutenants, his key security commanders in that government. on the other side, the opposition side, they say that transitional government must not have president assad involved and none of those around him. that's the key stumbling point and that's what they are going to be working on in the coming days, possibly the coming weeks that these negotiations roll on for. >>> there is a new report out that suggests the assad regime was involved in the systemic killing of thousands of syrian dee containees, tens of thousands of photographs were smuggled out of the count twri by a defector. some of these images are very disturbing. tim friend reports. >> reporter: the photographs are graphic and alarming. most of the victims are young men. many emaciated blood stained and showing signs of torture, some have no eyes and others may have been strangled or electrocuted. experts say this is on a far larger scale than anything else that has emerged during the 3
to the president of syria, bashar al assad. >>> plus, shocking and very provocative comments from iran's foreign minister suggesting perhaps the u.s. gave away too much in that nuclear deal with iran. the foreign minister of iraq goes one-on-one exclusively with cnn. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >>> let's begin with the breaking news out of israel where authorities now say they've busted an al qaeda-operated terror cell that allegedly plotted to attack the united states embassy in tel aviv and other high-profile targets. let's go straight to our senior international correspondent ben wedeman. he's joining us from jerusalem. what's the latest, ben? what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, this is a statement that came from shin bet, israel's formidable domestic security agency which says they've broken up this ring of three men in east jerusalem as well as in the west bank. now, according to the statement by shin bet, a man in gaza recruited these three men over the internet using facebook, skype, and other social media. now, according to the statement, one of the men was ass
to implement geneva 1 and if assad doesn't do that, he will invite greater response from various people in various ways over a greater period of time. so i'm not particularly surprised that he is trying to divert this. he has been doing this for months, trying to make himself the protector of syria against extremists, when he himself has even been funding some of those extremists, and purposefully seeding territory to them to make them more of a problem so he can make the argument that he is somehow the protector of them. nobody is going to be fooled by this process the foreign minister has stated, they are supporting the geneva 1 communique, and the government has toment a negotiate around that communique, and since russia is one of the primary benefactors of the assad regime, we believe the russians have a high stake in helping make certain that assad understands what the parameters of this negotiation are. >> second question is for [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: you mentioned that you disclosed how to prove the transit of goods and people here in north america. many people here in the u
along the borders. there was a yes vote to meet with the assad rage eej. >> translation: we are taking this turn for the people. you have reached a defining moment and will support the national council, joining hand in hand we'll continue to march forward long live syria. free and defiant. >> and for more on the struggle that lies ahead, we have this report from istanbul. >> it was supposed to be conducted by a show of hands. in the end they opted for a secret ballot, so divisive and contentious had this begun. but when counted there was an overwhelming yes vote in support of the delegation going to geneva ii. 58 votes say yes, 14 saying no. one white paper, and two refusals, but this was not an easy process, and the disputes will continue. there was a withdrawal block of 44 members who refused to participate in discussions to the lead-up to the vote who felt the conditions ahead of the geneva negotiations had not been adhered to by the international community, nor the groups offering to participate in it. they felt they were railroaded into discussions that would not achieve the entry
is an ally of bashar al-assad. >> as i said repeatedly, i believe iran needs to be part of the solution to the syrian crisis. >> a group called the islamic front says they reject the talks. so if a breakthrough is reached, it will be harder to implement it on the ground. >> violence in the war-rattled nation continues. >> as opposition leaders finally agreed to go to peace conference in switzerland, government forces continued to hit targets in different parts of aleppo. the weapon of choice is barrels filled with explosives. the destruction is vast, and people continue to die. activists and res tents are desperate -- residents are desperate to find survivors. the leader of the free syrian army backed the opposition going to peace talks provided theyened the syrian regime. >> translation: we support any solution that guarantees a political traction of authority, that fulfils the syrian demands and ask the brother going to geneva to halt goals. bashar al-assad must leave. he must have no role in the future. a transitional government with full power should be reformed. prisoners should be
table. buddies agreed over the future of president bashar al-assad is threatening negotiations even before they begin. we have correspondent covering all sides of the story for us. but first let's get this report on the day's event from james bayes. >> reporter: it took almost eight months to get both sides to this peace conference, both the syrian government and representatives of the syrian opposition in the same room, along with representatives from 40 nations. ban ki-moon laid out the aim of the process. >> the geneva communique sets out a number of key steps, starting with the establishment of a transitional governing body, formed by mutual consent. including over the military forces and security and intelligence services. >> reporter: getting there, though, will be hard, just chairing this opening session was a challenge for ban ki-moon. the syrian foreign minister's speech overran and the un secretary general tried to stop him. >> mr. prime minister, i'm sorry to -- can you just wrap up because you have only almost 20 minutes -- >> you live in new york. i live in syria. i hav
possible in syria? assad is at the center of talks under way in geneva where secretary kerry is making it clear that assad has to go, but does assad think that? >>> plus, a national debate over changing voter i.d. laws spotlights pennsylvania today, where a judge has blocked the controversial 2012 law. will president obama push for more federal action? got a busy show for you. at lof campaign updates. interesting little abortion politics takeaway, that i want you guys to think about. >>> it's a snowy washington. wednesday, january 22nd, the "the daily rundown," and we'll start with how the weather is crippling the northeast. the snow that walloped us, still falling along the coast in some spots but it's moved out of the i-95 corridor. this is a live look at massachusetts where they're truly getting dumped on. and now, there's brutally cold temperatures. they're settling in. single digits in many places. it's going to make it tough for folks who are digging out. snow becomes ice pretty quickly when it's single digits. the worst of the storm hit new jersey and massachusetts where more th
bashar al assad one day face court when without one. we'll see nothing of this huge event and the response of idiocy and two presidents on sounds and each and every monsoon rain brought him into the country some trial and capitalized. or that. yes two more that the eighty minute show. more than one hundred and twenty thousand people had been killed since the syrian civil war. first began in march two thousand london geneva two carries great significance as it will be the first time representatives of the sa government will face the opposition at the negotiation table however many divisions remain regarding the conference's goals on friday syrian foreign minister and then propose negotiating a cease fire agreement in the city of aleppo and discussing a possible prisoner exchange yet the opposition accepted this as an insult their spokesperson stating quote the assad government is not taking the conference seriously on well. the things he needed to conference is a good effort for peace in syria many challenges remain the main issue being the acceptance by all parties on the
. opponents of bashar al-assad threatened a boycott of the summit in switzerland, because the u.s. invited its ally to attend. that invitation has been withdrawn. >> iran went back on its word, and that is why the united nations says it's not welcome. >> the secretary-general is disappointed by iranian public statements that are not at all consistent with the stated commitment. he urges iran to join the global consensus behind the geneva communique. >> 24 hours earlier secretly bank ki bank ki mooninvited russian to attend. >> when it comes to iran, it must be clear to everybody that any participation in geneva ii is conditional to the explicit acceptance of the mant date laid down -- mandate laid down. >> if they are to attend it is vital that the iranian government confirm publicly and clearly that they share this understanding. iran refused. russia said it would be a mistake not to include them. >> australia... . >> translation: among the countries invited are australia, mexico, brazil, indonesia and others. if there's no iran in this list. i think the peace talks about resemble hip oblige
talks. ad'sident asides -- ass delegation isn't here to talk about war crimes. president assad has made it clear all along that he has talked about anything about the transition of power. for the opposition, that is the main order of business here. arriving here, the syrian foreign minister was quoted as saying mr. assad's future was a redline. no one can touch the presidency, he told the serious state news agency. and during rebels the fighting inside syria are not represented here. state, notn islamic a democracy. some rebel groups are part of al qaeda. they will fight on whatever happens in the talks. assad seemsresident to be winning. no one really expects a peace deal in switzerland this week. the optimists hope that a durable cease-fire might emerge. that is something there has never been in almost three years of serious civil war -- syria's civil war. toas peace talks are about get underway, there are growing concerns for the millions of syrians who have been forced to flee into neighboring countries. in lebanon, refugees make up quarter of the population, and hundreds of familie
in just about an hour. the bashar al-assad regime and the opposition will meet. world leaders hoping to bring a diplomatic solution to three years of war in syria. the talks will open in montro and move to geneva on friday. >> inside syria the violence is continuing unabated. 100 were killed yesterday, and the two sides were violent as ever. there's multiple opposition fighters fighting each other. the hope is to create a localized peace deal or humanitarian corridor to reach some of the people who have been locked away by the syrian government or the opposition or caught in the middle of the firing. the official goal is to create a transitional government, a government that will have the ability to go into syria and move the president. and the country would create a new government. the syrian government has refused to allow that to happen. the opposition barely made it here. they were so fractured they barely voted to be represented here. what the u.s. is hoping is very, very small baby steps. they said that they succeeded simply by getting the syrian opposition and syrian governmen
, and that is show extreme reasonableness while backing president assad, and that has so far been a pretty successful strategy for them, i hate to use that word, because we know he is a great tactician, but he is -- he is going to this -- the russians are going to this conference with the idea that it is not a threat to president assad. they are, by the way, today they said that they want the iranians to be present at the talks. >> rose: yes. go ahead. i mean they said, and the united states and what did john kerry say in response? >> i haven't seen secretary kerry's response. the american position has been kind of equivocal here but it is po really kind of a distraction from the main issue which is that the american goal was to try to find a formula for talks on syria that would lead to a political transition. something post assad. that is not really particularly viable bowl at this point, given the way the talks are organized, and so they are really about probably reconsolidating assad's position. he looks stronger today than he did a year ago. >> and you have to acknowledge putin's success on that
and end of the violence of assad and his war on his people, we will support you in those common values and efforts that we strongly support. thank you very much. > thank you very much. > the first question will be from michael gordon of the "new york times." >> a question for secretary kerry. after you became secretary of state, you made the point repeatedly that it was important to change assad's calculation to achieve a political solution that you needed. a year later, it is clear that the assad regime believes its position is stronger than ever. in his letter to the united nations, the syrian foreign minister who will be leaving the delegation suggest that the purpose is not to discuss the olitical transition. he said some point in the invitation the syrian government received are in conflict with the legal and political position of the state of syria. my question is, how can you expect to make progress toward a political transition that you needed to if the assad government does not accept the purpose of the conference, which is what it's letter suggests? have you been in contact w
the tough talk. secretary of state john kerry made it clear, the syrian president, bashar a assad, has no place in any transitional government. and that didn't sit well with his syrian counterpart. watch this exchange. >> a transition government means that that government cannot be formed with someone that is objected to by one side or the other. that means that bashar assad will not be part of that transition government. there is no way, no way possible, in the imagination, that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern. >> mr. secretary, nobody in the world has the right to get rid of the legitimacy of a president or a constitution or law or anything in syria, except the syrian people themselves. >> the syrian foreign minister also blamed the opposition rebels for a litany of atrocities. he accused the rebels of engaging in murder, rape and arson. the leader of the opposition coalition fired right back, accusing the bashar al assad regime of war crimes and pointed to newly released photos allegedly showing the master tour of detai
, iran, could a shocking war crimes report that points fingers at the assad regime derail negotiations. >>> as much as 10 inches expected to fall here in the nation's capital. it's a different kind of government shutdown in d.c. the latest winter blast has other major cities along the east coast in its sights. we'll bring you the latest on the snowfall and deep freeze. >>> good day, i'm andrea mitchell in snowy washington, more concerns about terror threats in russia. security forces are hunting for four women and two men. all now suspected of planning suicide attacks ahead of and during the sochi games. i'm joined by richard engel in moscow. richard, what is the latest on how many people are suspected and where they might be? >> reporter: all day we've been reporting that they were four women and two men and if you go around the police stations in russia, you will see wanted posters for four so-called black widows and two men. one of the women is apparently dead, she was killed several days ago in a operation by russian special forces. her name -- i don't know how this confusion happe
president bashar al-assad. now, a group called the islamic front, an alliance of forces rejected the talks. if a breakthrough is reached, it will be harder to implement on a battlefield. violence in the war-rattled nation continues. we have more. >> government forces continue to hit targets in different parts of aleppo. the weapon of joys is barrels filled with explosives. the distribution is vast and people continue to die. act visits and residents are keen to find survivors. the army backs coalition going to the talks, provided they end the syrian regime. we support a solution guaranteeing a political traction of authority, fulfilling the syrian people's demands. we ask the government going to geneva to halt the goals. bashar al-assad, and his group must leave power, he must have no role in syria's future. a transitional government will be formed. prisoners should be released. especially women and children. humanitarian corridors must be open. meanwhile there has been fighting between rebel forces and members from the al qaeda linked state in iraq. >> other parts of syria have had their
did ban ki-moon invite iran to the peace talks when iran supported the bashar al-assad regime and rejected the main precondition to the talks, which was a transition involving assad losing power. >> whatever is going to happen in syria will - iran will have the opportunity to shape that. potentially culentively -- constructively, more likely destructively. i think they'd rather have iran in the room, rather than undermine the process fro the outside. why did he extend the invitation? he probably heard a private assurance that understood the principles central to the process. why did he disinvite them, because iran was unwilling to say publicly to what they would say privately. >> after they agreed to this, which is taking effect today, they went off and changed their mind. the reality is with the back and forth, being invited, uninvited, how will that affect the peace talks. >> i don't know that it will effect anything this week. you have the meeting in monty python that is about the politics of the process, and the actual process beginning at the end of the week in geneva, w
. >> then there is the thing about al-assad. wasperson he really feared sharon. >> the interesting thing about that is when assad looked at sharon, especially his behavior, he saw himself. rules.re assad had a muslim brotherhood problem. he leveled a city. he saw an sharon the only israeli he feared could do the thing. eastern.ron was middle i don't mean that in an enlightened way. he absorbed the lessons of the behavior of people like al- assad. he thought israel had to be as brutal as those dictators. that is what got him into trouble in lebanon. >> there is this. the idea that we withdraw from gaza was a huge mistake. it led to hamas getting more power. and destroyed unity within the palestinians. >> there are two arguments. the right wing argument says we should never have left. the left wing argument, by not negotiating, by just leaving, you're basically legitimizing leadership, and allow hamas to rise in gaza. that is the strong argument that has been made about why he is probably responsible for the rise of hamas. we a pivotthings, moment in 2006 when he had his stroke. we don't really know whether
the world leaders gathering to discuss the political and to the civil war in syria. assad andbashir al- opposition groups as well as 40 other countries are sitting down for talks. john has been following this story. a lot of it is ceremonial, but it is very much trying to bring these groups. >> there is a serious tone. 100,000 lives have been lost. there are too many people displaced out of syria. sohave seen refugee camps large one is unofficially the fifth-largest city. these talks fueled with allegations of war crimes by the assad regime, but also what really stands out, out of the 40 countries it is who is not there. iran is not there, a country that has provided aid. william hague said the u.n. was right to rescind that invitation. a said there should be traditional government formed. >> what would that look like? bashir al-assad does not sound like a leader ready to step aside. >> the assad government wants to see a sod continue to be the head of the state. a lot of people question how fruitful these can you. it is clear it is the beginning of the process, not the end of a confli
these negotiations mean that bashar al-assad will be able to stay in power. obviously the opposition don't want that to be the case. and secretary kerry said both sides have to agree, which means that assad won't be part of the government. but the agreement says there will be a transitional government. it doesn't spell out who will be a part of that government. a very unusual mood on the secretary of state trying to put pressure out, but it seems to me they know this is a critical vote. if the groups do not agree to come and take part in this geneva conference, the secretary may lose some credibility on the world stage, but more than that, i think the question will become what can they actually do about it? this >> he also say we too are deeply concerned about the rise of extremism in syria. presumably this is come reference -- we have had a leak of the letter from the syrian government suggesting they are just funding terrorists as they put it. is this trying to put an end to that? >> no, i think it was a point to the u.s. congress. if you look at the american psyche, especially when it comes
to go, and he has told the assad regime that it remains a center aim of the talk. >> down kerry rejected syrian efforts to change the focus of geneva two from ending the civil war and installing an interim government to end terrorism. i called it an attempt to change history and said it wouldn't work. >> it defies logic to imagine that those who use brutality, how they could lead syria away from extremism to a better future is beyond logic or common sense. >> reporter: the syrian foreign minister tried to shift the focus of the conference when he accepted to attend geneva two. he wrote: >> reporter: kerry leaned on the syrian people to unite. >> so on the eve of the coalition general assembly meeting tomorrow to decide to meet in the peace conference, the united states for these reasons urges a positive vote. >> reporter: syrian opposition spokesman said its important that all sides try to deal in good faith. >> it's the six principles of the geneva communique, we need to force them to come out and say i accept all the principles, otherwise the peace talks would be a waste of time. no on
to vote on it soon but for now the opposition is split. they're vital to the negotiations with the assad regime. >> the syrian national coalition meet something now formerly happening but we still don't have an idea of when they're going to take that crucial vote on the issue of whether or not to participate in geneva two. there are two issues at stake here. one is participation and one is constitution. we have a split in the block. 44 took themselves out of the coalition saying that the lead-up has not been properly handled. on the other side what the coalition is trying to look at is what exactly it needs conduct a critical vote. it's a question of numbers. do they have to change the constitution before they take the vote or can they do it without changing the constitution. it's all related to a clause. saying they're not meant to meet with the assad regime at all. in the meantime, th they're pressing no matter what to be in geneva. this is where the peace process starts. and unless the syrian coalition representing the broadest body of syrian opposition is there at the geneva meeting
in talks with a delegation from the assad regime. after the vote the president of the coalition addressed the syrian people. >> translation: we travelled a hard road and you made sacrifices for your freed om. you are intending to end the suffering that the regime imposed on you >> because the decision was divisive discussion and consultation ran overnight including members of rebel groups fighting inside syria. without the endorsement there was no confidence that the coalition could deliver on anything. the same groups want to be in the unnamed delegation going to switzerland. >> there has to be representatives within the team. we have to discuss what is the role, but they would like to be hart of the consultation. >> the green light from the fighting groups came as a surprise. >> none of this was enough to bring back 44 members who withdrew from the syrian national coalition, because they didn't think the agreements in geneva i had backing. for them, unless geneva ii brought about a transitional government. it wasn't worth tending. >> who will represent the government is supposed to be
if there are no pre-conditions. that means no requirement to remove bashar al-assad out of power. iran has not agreed to the steps outline in the geneva communique from 2012. the governing body must be established with full executive powers and enter armed violence and allow essential humanitarian aid to be delivered to affected areas. >> it is a sensitive issue and as we continue for three years some insist on a military solution. but iran's stance on this is clear. i feel that a common agreement is forming, but the main problem is extremism and sectarianism. >> those comments were made a week after a trip to jordan. >> they support not only the syrian conflict but political conflict in iraq and lebanon, and saudi arabia is nervous about iran's growing ambitions including its nuclear ones. >> reporter: iran has agreed to suspend its most sensitive nuclear work in return for limited sanctions relief. iran and the five permanent members of the u.n. security council plus germany will implement the agreement over the next six months. it took ten years of diplomacy to make the deal happen, but just six m
of both sides. that's the aim of this whole process. the problem is, that on the assad side they say that government must be lead by president assad, and have his key lieutenants, his key security commanders in that government. on the other side, the opposition side, they say that transitional government must not have president assad involved and none of those around him. that's the key strumabling point and what they will be working on in the coming days, possibly the coming weeks that these negotiations roll on for. >> james bayes in geneva. >>> chris christie is set to attend his inauguration for his second term now. the question is will the scandals oversomehow the speech? >> no question. but the better question is he going to mention the scandals, and i don't think so. they sent me over a list of some of the talking points and i have them there, and there is no motion of the scandals. but he does talk about -- this is so typical christy. it is all about bipartisanism. he is talking about what new jersey people want, a good job, a good education for the children and safe streets.
an umbrella group that covers political groups, and rebel groups opposed the assad, didn't vote on whether they will attend. they will attend and sitting across the table from representatives of the syrian regime, first time that has happened in three years. this is one of the problems it is going to face. the syrian regime says it is attending because it continues to fight what they call terrorism. the letter said they were being invited because they want to be part of the discussions to set up a traditional government. so the opposition groups are worried those based outside syria are worried they are going to lose credibility with the rebel forces on the ground who have long said they have no interest in talking to anybody from assad's government. they want that regime gone before they will even begin talks. but all that said these talks are the best chance there's been in three years, to end a conflict that's taken 130,000 lives and forced millions from their homes. >> as bernard mentioned, this is difficult and there's a lot of players. only yesterday about did some syrian rebels agre
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